People are drawn to NYC for many reasons. Its cultural institutions are second to none, its restaurants are world class, and its filled with a large variety of neighborhoods that fit many lifestyles and budgets. Many families stay in NYC long after their compatriots have decamped to the suburbs, primarily because they don’t want to lose the amazing lifestyle and amenities that the city offers. If you’re thinking of making NYC home for your family, or if you already live here and are curious about which neighborhoods would be best, check out below.
Downtown Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood has always been compared to Sesame Street, and with good reason: its majestic brownstones, diverse community and creative spirit make it hard not to compare it to the fictional yet aspirational neighborhood of everybody’s childhood. Located one stop from downtown Manhattan and serviced by Fort Greene park, fabulous non-chain restaurants and a family-friendly vibe, it’s no wonder that this leafy, urban enclave is considered a utopia. Home prices have risen steadily over the years, but it’s still a bargain compared to more expensive family-friendly nabes like Tribeca or the West Village.
Upper West Side
There’s a reason why people prefer to with their families in tight quarters on the Upper West Side versus escaping to the suburbs. This vibrant community offers a wealth of cultural and child-friendly activities practically unheard of in other areas. Located between Central Park and the Hudson from east to west and from 59th Street to 110th from north to south, this neighborhood is chock full of amenities catered towards children and growing families. When you live in this neighborhood, museums like the American Museum of Natural History and the Children’s Museum are literally at your doorstop, while Central Park is essentially your personal 840+ acre backyard. Great public and private school options make this area a draw for urban tribes.
Prospect Park. The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The Brooklyn Museum of Art. The Prospect Park Zoo. Horseback-riding trails. Need we go on? Northwest Brooklyn’s Park Slope, also known as Stroller Central, is one of the best and most popular neighborhoods for families in New York City. Practically every cultural, familial, dining and entertainment amenity exists here, making it easy for parents to manage their small charges while maintaining the ability to take charge of – and enjoy! – their adult lives. Located next door to hip hoods like Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, and Crown Heights, the best time in the world is always a short walk or Uber ride away. Super easy access to Manhattan makes commuting to work a breeze.
Yes, Tribeca is expensive. Located in lower Manhattan and bordered by West Street, Canal Street, Vesey Street and Broadway, Tribeca is the most expensive neighborhood in NYC. Families who live here demand – and receive – the very best that the city has to offer. There are a slew of children’s stores like Livly and Torly Kid, and Egg by Susan Lazar for parents who’re looking for sharp-looking gear for their babies and toddlers. Tribeca-based toy stores like Boomerang Toys and Playing Mantis stretch the imaginations of the littlest customers with everything ranging from classic toys to high-tech gizmos. Co-ops and condos offer everything from spacious layouts to convenient on-site playrooms. Tribeca’s access to the multiple train lines make it the perfect location for parents looking for convenient commutes.
Battery Park City
If someone ever said, “I wish there was, like, this neighborhood located in prime Manhattan that was in the city but not necessarily of the city. You know what I mean? Kind of like a secluded suburb set right in the city.” That person would be describing Battery Park City. The word “city” at the end of its name is not an accident: this planned community located at the southernmost tip of Manhattan and conceived of in the last quarter of the last century is like a city within a city. With 35 residential and mixed use buildings, the area provides great housing options for a wide range of families. Some buildings like the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park City offer luxury residences with luxury price tags starting at well over two million dollars, while others like Gateway Plaza offer relatively affordable rentals.
Families who live in great NYC neighborhoods have access to the very best that the most popular city in the world has to offer. Money – and lots of it – does make living here easier, but there are many families at various income levels that adjust their lifestyles to make it work. One thing is certain: families that live here are usually here because they want to be.